Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is an assisted reproductive technology (ART) that introduces concentrated and prepared sperm into a woman’s uterus at an optimal time for fertilization. Since the opening of the uterus (the cervix) makes a good seal against allowing sperm to leak out, there are generally little to no precautions needed after IUI. This applies to in vitro fertilization (IVF) as well. Some women may experience temporary bleeding and cramping following IUI. Resting for a few hours after an IUI can relieve slight bleeding and cramping. However, some precautions are necessary following IUI or IVF to support your general health and the health of the embryo. Eating health foods, avoiding alcohol, not smoking and exercising is recommended to improve your chance of achieving pregnancy.
What Does Research Say About Resting After IUI?
Research results about the efficacy of resting after intrauterine insemination or in vitro insemination are mixed. In a 2016 publication of Ob.Gyn.News findings of a recent study investigating bed rest following an IUI procedure indicates that five to 15 minutes of resting in bed with the knees elevated had no positive effect on rates of pregnancy. The doctor conducting the research reports that resting after IUI is not necessary because sperm reaches fallopian tubes in less than five minutes after insemination. In addition, healthy sperm may survive for up to four or five days in a woman’s uterus.
Alternately, another study found that women who rested in bed 10 to 20 min after IUI had better pregnancy rates than women who got up right away after IUI. However, researchers also say there was no statistically significant difference separating the two results, an indication that the study does not validate the benefits of resting after IUI.
When Should a Woman Consider IUI or IVF?
If you have been trying to get pregnant naturally for about one year without success, call New York Reproductive Wellness today to schedule a fertility evaluation with our fertility doctor. Common causes of infertility include hormone imbalances, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and uterine abnormalities that prevent fertilization and/or implantation. In addition to IUI and IVF, NY Reproductive Wellness also offers ovulation induction, sperm testing and many other assisted reproductive technologies to help women and their partners achieve pregnancy.